Recently, I was reviewing some future vocational pursuits, and courses of study to prepare for them, with a mentor of mine. He admonished me twice, “You must not be seduced by low-hanging fruit.” He went on to encourage me to set vocational and educational goals that were neither too easy nor out-of-this-world in difficulty, but instead targets in which “you have to stand on your tiptoes to reach.”
That was a new twist.
My own human nature and the bent of our times drifts toward, even craves, things that require little or no effort. Low-maintenance relationships. Things you can “wing.” Problem-solving that demands no more than easy, black/white, either/or solutions that don’t have to grapple with the complexities of our times and its issues, which are impatient of petty annoyances like nuance and clarification. Or, better yet, long-term thinking. (Current immigration debate and Donald Trump come to mind.)
The challenge for growth is something that requires stretching. We all know this when we get to the gym. But we tend to forget this once we’ve showered and leave the environment where sweat is accepted as part of obtaining the prizes.
What goals are you setting for yourself? Do they cause you discomfort or are they well within your current competencies and are guaranteed to cause you little frustration? Little effort can only yield small rewards.
These are necessary questions, because low-hanging fruit is cheap and easy. But, you have to climb to get the good stuff.